By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute has today detected bird flu (H5) virus in a herd of 7,500 laying hens in Rogaland. This is the first time that bird flu has been detected in a commercial poultry herd in Norway. 

Image/Robert Herriman

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is following up the incident. All animals in the infected poultry farm have been killed and restrictions are imposed on poultry farming in a larger area around the herd to prevent further spread of infection to birds. The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is investigating in more detail which H5 virus has caused the infection. The National Institute of Public Health safeguards the public health aspect by assisting the veterinary authorities and the municipal health service locally with infection control councils. 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is highly pathogenic to birds, but is not usually associated with human disease. The consequences of infection to poultry farms are serious for the poultry industry. During this autumn, several outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu have been seen in wild birds and poultry in Europe. 

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– No disease has been detected in humans associated with these outbreaks, says section leader Karoline Bragstad 

NIPH considers the risk of infection to humans to be very low.  

– There will always be a small possibility of infection to humans, some precautions should therefore be taken anyway to prevent infection, says Karoline Bragstad. 

Persons associated with poultry farming where bird flu is suspected or confirmed should use personal protective equipment. Good hand hygiene is recommended after contact with birds.